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International

World leaders join 1.5 million people in Paris rally

Paris : Dozens of world leaders including Muslim and Jewish statesmen linked arms leading about 1.5 million French citizens in an unprecedented march under high security to pay tribute to victims of the recent militant attacks, according to news agencies.

Arab states to help Lebanon with refugee, security problems

Beirut: An Arab delegation Monday promised to help Lebanon with its Syrian refugee and security problems, media reported.

The delegation, led by Kuwaiti Vice Premier and Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah, also included the Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi and Mauritania's Foreign Minister Ahmad Walad Takdi. The Arab delegation met Speaker of the Lebanese parliament Nabih Berri.

According to a Xinhua report, Sabah stressed that "all Arab states are ready to support Lebanon".

Merkel to join Islamic rally for 'tolerance'

Berlin: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend a rally called by Islamic groups, for an "open and tolerant Germany" Tuesday, following last week's terrorist attacks in France.

This was announced Monday by a spokesman for the German government.

The rally, organised by Germany's Muslim organisations and Turkish community groups, is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin, Xinhua reported.

Israel shuts down offices of Islamic bodies

Jerusalem: Israel shut down the offices of three Islamic organisations in the northern part of the country Monday over unrest at a Jerusalem holy site, Israel's Shin Bet security agency stated.

The Shin Bet said that it operated along with the police's special 433 Lahav Unit and shut down the offices of the three Islamic organisations located in northern Israel's Nazareth city, according to a Xinhua report.

Kerry meets Nawaz Sharif, voices support for Pakistan

Islamabad: US Secretary of State John Kerry assured Pakistan of support in the fight against terrorism and other challenges, during his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Monday.

"The United States would continue to support Pakistan in effectively combating terrorism and also addressing various other challenges," Kerry told Sharif, according to a Xinhua report.

Kerry arrived in Islamabad Monday evening on a two-day visit following his trip to India.

Strong UN-Indian partneship good for world: Ban Ki-moon

New Delhi: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Monday said India was among the biggest contributors to the UN peacekeeping missions and as such its partnership was important to the world body.

"India is an important country for the UN. It is one of the biggest contributors to the UN peacekeeping mission and democracy fund," Ban Ki-moon said in his address to a gathering at Young @70, to mark the 70th anniversary of the UN founded in October 1945.

Sri Lanka's new president forms 27-member cabinet

Colombo : Sri Lanka's newly-elected President Maithripala Sirisena formed a 27-member cabinet along with nine deputy ministers here Monday.

Sirisena retained the defence portfolio in line with his executive powers but handed out top positions to a host of politicians from his coalition, predominantly the United National Party (UNP), Xinhua reported.

Eleven state ministers were also sworn in though their powers are yet to be defined.

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Peace Be Upon Him

By Ilma Afroz for TwoCircles.net,

The attack on Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris is heinous. It’s gruesome. It’s murderous. It’s cowardly. It’s all of these. United Nations – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his rage at the shooting. He referred to it as "despicable", "horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime.” And there is much more to it.

Pope urges religious leaders to condemn violence

Vatican City : Pope Francis Monday urged religious, political and intellectual leaders, especially Muslims, to condemn fundamentalist and extremist interpretations of religion that seek to justify violence.

In an address to members of the Diplomatic Corps attached to the Holy See, the pontiff commented that "religious fundamentalism, even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates god himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext".

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Toll in Mozambique poisoned brew tragedy reaches 67

Maputo : The number of people who have died after drinking a local alcoholic brew called "phombe" rose to 67 Monday morning in Tete province, western Mozambique, medical sources said.

The number may increase as more than 100 people were still under medical care in hospital, Xinhua news agency reported citing sources.

"Phombe" is a popular local brew made from maize grain and water.

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